It’s a new year, THE FLASH fans! It has been a horrible, horrible hiatus without our favorite show, but it sure gave us time to stop and really think about what has happened on our screen and analyze it to death. In order to do that, I got a few colleagues and fellow fans of the Scarlet Speedster together so we could sit down and discuss the best and worst of season 2 so far. A lot has happened up until December – Zoom! Jay Garrick! Wally West! The crossover! – and you’ll see that we had wildly different opinions about some of the topics we chose to talk about, which just made for an even better roundtable.
Now, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road.
LUCIANA MANGAS: The very best episode of the season for me – possibly of the entire series – was “Enter Zoom”. It was equal parts shocking, entertaining and suspenseful and established the main plot of the season quite nicely. Also, Zoom? I don’t think the word terrifying does him any justice. It goes way beyond that.
The cast brought their A game in this episode and their performance, as well as the direction, writing, special effects and the editing were all phenomenal. There is only one other episode that comes close to how amazing “Enter Zoom” was, and that was the season 1 finale.
As for the worst episode, I am not even going to classify it as the worst because that’s a very strong word. But the one I liked less – and that was probably due to my high expectations – was the crossover episode. “Legends of Today” was supposed to be the launch platform for LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, but it seems like they just forgot to make this episode about the THE FLASH’s main characters. They focused on Hawkgirl and her backstory and just put everything else aside. Even though I absolutely loved seeing Barry interacting with the ARROW team, the episode felt way too rushed and it didn’t even feel like I was watching THE FLASH. I also hated what they did to Felicity in this episode, even though she is not (technically) a main FLASH character. It felt like they were trying to inject humor through her, but her lines just fell completely flat, like they were trying too hard to be funny. Oh, and don’t even get me started on how they broke Cisco’s heart. That was just not cool.
MELISSA SMITH: Best episode for me this season so far has been “Legends of Today.” Everyone in the episode gave their full potential, even when the odds were against them. Jay took the Velocity-6 serum to save Wells. Cisco put the good of humanity above his love for Kendra. Barry fought hard to keep the team on track, even when Oliver couldn’t focus. I love that the Legends of Tomorrow and Vandal Savage were there to Rock the Kasbah, and I anxiously am awaiting the LEGENDS OF TOMORROW premiere.
Worst episode of this season for me was Episode 1, “The Man Who Saved Central City,” and this is just a small issue for me. I know that THE FLASH is “the kid” in the Justice League DC-verse and sometimes is more emotional than the other heroes, but the Singularity was six months prior to Episode 1. I really wanted Barry to “cowboy-up.” I know he was stressed by another loss, but there was a bit too much hand-wringing for me. Just take the key to the city and move on. And he did. That is what superheroes do. They do not inspire people because they can run fast or fly high. They inspire us because they have big hearts, a desire to do the “right thing” and try their hardest to overcome adversity.
SHANA LIEBERMAN: Let’s deliver the bad news first. The worst episode in the first half of the season — and probably for the entire series for me if we’re being totally honest here — was “Legends of Today.” It featured heartbreak for Cisco, terrible life choices by Oliver Queen, and a backdoor pilot for LEGENDS OF TOMORROW that did absolutely nothing for either ARROW or THE FLASH in the process. Total disappointment. One could argue that Grant Gustin’s first appearance on ARROW was just a backdoor pilot for THE FLASH, and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. But the difference? Barry actually fit in well with that cast and was only a piece of the puzzle, rather than forced on viewers as the main (and only) focal point. Usually, when there’s a Flarrow crossover, I find myself falling in love. This time? I found myself falling in loathe.
On the other hand, “Enter Zoom” was an instant favorite. The episode boasted the first face-off between our hero and the season’s Big Bad, some of the best special effects I’ve seen on the series yet, and a shocking opening that made it impossible not to want to stay tuned for more. Bonus: Malese Jow rocked it as Linda Park.
MEREDITH ZYLBERBERG: Best – 2×08 crossover “Legends of Today”. Suffice it to say that my bias towards Arrow impacts my best episode choice greatly. I haven’t been the biggest fan of The Flash’s first stretch of episodes this season, and the crossover episode (The Flash half) was without a doubt my favorite. The episode was fast-paced, featured fantastic character interactions, and great action. That said, it felt much more like an Arrow episode than a Flash episode, in that the only non-Legends storyline that really featured prominently was an Arrow storyline. (Oh wait – there was something about injecting a chemical into Jay/Barry, wasn’t there? I can’t really remember, I probably zoned out during that part.)
Nonetheless, I was mostly riveted during episode 2×08, and I find that interacting with Oliver and Felicity brings out the best in Barry. Of course, fan favorites Cisco and Felicity also got to have a couple great scenes, which didn’t hurt. While I personally didn’t care for the Hawk-duo storyline, I do enjoy when certain characters get to share the screen with others, and the majority of the character dynamics in this episode were ones I enjoy watching. My biggest complaint about the episode is the lack of Iris, and I felt that some of the Central City scenes could have at the very least included her.
As for the worst episode, “Gorilla Warfare” wins the prize. I don’t really have much more to say, other than any episode with monster sized animals who can kinda-sorta speak and maybe have a crush on Caitlin? Not for me. I know this is a major comic storyline, I understand that, but I still don’t feel that it translates well onscreen. It felt hokey, contrived, and just overall silly. Maybe I’m not the target audience for an episode like this one, but it didn’t feel at all accessible or enjoyable for me.
On the next page: best/worst characters….